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Is there anything better than a slate full of baseball? We're especially spoiled this Thursday, and without further ado let's get right down to how to bet them. Here are my best bets on today's slate.
Baltimore Orioles (+170) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (-215) Total: 10.5
You can tell by the total that absolutely nobody believes in these two starting pitchers, but with both offenses sure to have success I see a lot of value in the underdog, particularly when there's one of this magnitude.
This should be a coin-flip game which I give the Orioles a great chance to win. They've ranked third all year in wRC+ to left-handed pitching, and their best bats — Trey Mancini, Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins — all mash southpaws. The sweet thing here is that not only does the Blue Jays' starter Anthony Kay pitch left-handed, he also pitches pretty terribly.
Kay posted a 9.95 ERA in three Triple-A starts, and will now be called upon for a spot start here. I don't think his chances of holding the Orioles down are that great, and while Dean Kremer should get touched up here as well I actually would favor both the Orioles offense and Kremer, ever so slightly. That presents a considerable edge.
Edge: Orioles +170
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Washington Nationals (-120) vs. Miami Marlins (+100) Total: 8.5
This one should be a slugfest, and I'm delighted we get such a great number. Joe Ross hasn't been able to get many people out, but what's most concerning in this spot is the fact that he carries with him a .251 expected batting average with some considerable issues with homers. The Marlins might not look threatening, but they have actually ranked atop the league in contact rate over the past week, doing better than 80%.
That's enough for me to be scared off the Nationals moneyline, and that will scare me right towards the total. Why? Well, Cody Poteet has had some early success in his career, but he's allowed an awful lot of fly balls with an 18.8-degree average launch angle, a 12% barrel rate and a 40% hard-hit rate. The Nationals are not only red hot, but sit 11th in home run-to-fly ball ratio.
Both offenses should get cooking early here, and I don't see it stopping with two particularly pedestrian bullpens.
Edge: Over 8.5
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